Massachusetts Legislators File New Bills Decriminalizing Drug Possession & Use

1.1 min readPublished On: March 4th, 2021By
BOSTON – Massachusetts state legislature’s decriminalization bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Liz Miranda and Mike Connolly with a virtually identical bill in the Senate by Julian Cyr. If passed, this bill would completely decriminalize all drugs and replace it with a civil fine system of $50, and even then it could be voided if you simply agree to what’s called needs testing, an evaluation of your health or other social needs.

The bill “An Act [Relative to] Harm Reduction and Racial Justice,” encapsulates the twin objectives of the bill. The bill essentially treats addiction as a mental health issue and the fact the war on drugs disproportionately affected People of Color.  Massachusetts will join Oregon which in November 2020 became the first state to decriminalize all drug possession and replace the system with one of fines and treatment, not unlike the system proposed in Massachusetts.

Oregon passed through a ballot initiative, not in the regular legislative process, which has a couple of advantages. More than 58 percent of Oregonians voted in favor of it. Oregon’s law took affect in February 1st. Vermont in particular is rumored to be on the cusp of introducing one any day now.

Decriminalization of all drugs was successfully implemented by Portugal. Drug addiction is on the decline as the Portuguese government now considers all drug addiction a public health crisis – and do not criminalize offenders.

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